Dear Friends

 “that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation.”

 2 Corinthians 5:19


Many years ago I worked for MANWEB, the electricity company. They had shops and stores all over Wales and the North West and my job was to reconcile the accounts ledgers to the actual stockcheck figures. Stores and shops were usually stockchecked every 18 months or so. Everything from cookers to light bulbs, from miles of electrical cabling to kettles was methodically counted and written down. These ledgers, one for each shop and each store were then brought back to Stores Accounts in Head Office on Sealand Road, Chester and the figures were checked against what our ledgers said we had. It very often turned into a bit of a detective story as I trailed back through our records of sales to find missing cookers or boxes of fuses. It was very satisfying at the end of the process to have reconciled our accounts with the actual stock held. Over the whole MANWEB area these small differences in actual and perceived stock held would have amounted to a considerable sum.

Reconciliation. What does that mean to us today? We hear about reconciliation within political parties and very often within families; where differences held are put aside for the good of the relationship. But there is often a mismatch between such strongly held views and very often a reconciliation is only on the surface; we see relationships can very easily break down again. Reconciliation here can mean being prepared to talk with the other person or party, to aim to work together for the good of the bigger issue. There is often an uneasy peace for the greater good and sadly it is very fragile.

In Paul’s letter to the Corinthians he speaks of how, in the person of Jesus Christ, God is reconciling the world to himself. Because of our “sinfulness” we have breached the relationship that we are meant to have with our Creator ad heavenly Father. Sinfulness is a falling short of what we are called to be, ie. anything that gets in the way between us and God. So in the action of Christ on the Cross we are reconciled to God. This is a mystery that we do not understand but accept with thankfulness.

But what is this reconciliation that God offers? Is it a coming together in an uneasy ceasing of hostilities as we see in our families or in the world? Is it a reluctant willingness to work together for the greater good whilst putting to one side our own agenda?

Perhaps not. Reconciliation, as I learnt in MANWEB, was about making things the SAME ,even identical. Not near enough, but absolutely the same. Perhaps this is what God intends for us too. That in Jesus, the world and we are being aligned with our Maker, so that we too may become like Him, totally identified with God himself and thereby find our true calling and purpose in life.


Yours in Christ

Canon Pauline